Bulky waste discount to be trialled in Northampton to combat fly-tipping

Northampton Borough Council is giving the discount a trial period to find out what effect it has on fly-tipping
Northampton Borough Council is giving the discount a trial period to find out what effect it has on fly-tipping

Residents will be given a £10 discount for removing bulky waste as part of a trial to reduce fly-tipping.

Northampton Borough Council’s bulky waste charge currently sees residents shell out £25 for the collection of up to three large household items, such as sofas, benches and fridges.

But the council has set aside £2,500 in its 2019/20 draft budget to reduce the fee from £25 to £15 for a trial period between April and June next year.

Cabinet member for the environment, Councillor Mike Hallam, said: “We’re doing this to see what effect this has on fly-tipping. That time is traditionally seen as one of the busiest times of the year.

“People might be asking how we’re funding this, and I’m pleased to say that money is from the fixed penalty notices that we are getting in. Both our wardens and third-party enforcement officers have issued a record number of fixed penalty notices in the past year.

“So the people who are paying for this have been the ones who haven’t been doing what we ask, and have been issued or will be issued with a notice. So part of this is subsidising this trial.”

The proposals will go out for consultation as part of the overall budget, which also includes a maximum 2.99 per cent rise in council tax for residents.

Speaking at the council’s cabinet meeting on Wednesday (December 12), Councillor Hallam explained why the council was looking at the trial now.

He said: “We’ve been locked into the previous charge for the last seven years and kept on doing nothing about it, and this is the first opportunity we have to do something about.

“There are lots of theories on whether it will increase or decrease and what effect it will have on fly-tipping, but we are doing this trial in a busy period to see what happens and take it from there.”

Councillor Hallam said that fly-tipping rates were currently ‘down by one to two per cent’, compared to another nearby authority, which he did not name, which was up by 12 per cent.